Breach of a family violence intervention order is considered a serious offence because it is the breach of a Court order. To be charged you must be alleged to have breached any of the conditions previously imposed by the Court in the family violence intervention order. Courts view this charge very seriously and it has a maximum penalty of 2 years and 240 penalty units.

To prove that this offence was committed by the Accused, the Prosecution must establish beyond reasonable doubt that there was a breach of one of the conditions.

The Prosecution are not having to prove the basis of the order. They are only having to prove the breach itself. So it is not a defence to the charge to say that there should not have been an order at all.

The starting point for defences is whether the accused was aware of the intervention order. Closely followed by whether there was, in fact, a breach of a condition. There is also the issue of whether a breach of the order was by mistake or lacking in the necessary intent.

There are also often situations where the Defendant has not contacted a person (as prohibited by the court) but was contacted by them. If this is the factual situation then the defendant has not committed a breach of the conditions and can use this as a basis for a factual dispute of the charges.

Breach of a family violence intervention order is based on section 123 of the Family Violence Protection Act. It is a summary charge and is normally heard in the Magistrates’ Courts. The intervention order normally results in difficulties with firearms licences and security guard licences. Pleading guilty or not guilty to this charge is a serious decision and all the consequences should be thoroughly discussed with a lawyer.